You’re Gonna Throw That Away?!!

I save everything.  My wreck of a studio can attest to this, as can my husband, who has a tendency to sigh heavily and pull the door closed when I’m in the middle of a project.  He learned long ago that asking me to clean it when I’m working is futile and wisely has never tried to make sense of it himself.  If I think I might some day have a use for that bit of string, those scraps of paper, these discarded boxes, etc, I cannot possibly part with them.   I mean, what if, ten years from now, I desperately need that broken hinge to put the finishing touch on a masterpiece that will shake the art world to its core only to remember that I threw it away?!  Add to that my tendency to collect random items that have any kind of artistic potential at all (recent acquisition: an enormous box of fabric samples, color swatches, and several large binders that were cast offs of architects and interior designers, all found at this year’s Zero Landfill Cincinnati), plus my extensive supply of actual artist’s materials, and it is a miracle that I can even fit into my studio! 

I had begun to wonder if I had a diagnosable mental illness when I stumbled upon the altered and mixed media art communities, where I was promptly reassured that this eccentricity was completely normal.  However, I never really thought of it as altruistic (isn’t hoarding a selfish tendency?) until I stumbled upon the HaloMiner booth at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago…

I knew that Pam (co-owner, HaloMiner) made beautiful jewelry, which she sold at our kids’ school on occasion, and that her daughter was a natural born defensive soccer player from when I coached the girls’ team last fall.  From working at the school, I knew of the Reblandos (who are set to sweep the student council elections this year, according to the signs all over the halls), but haven’t had the opportunity to get to know their mother Nicole (other co-owner, HaloMiner) very well.  I had no idea that both women were not only artists, but had recently started a very cool business that  carries unique, functional, affordable items created from everyday castoffs that would normally be tossed in the trash without a second thought.  Being a fan of supporting small, independent businesses and a firm believer in the good karma, I felt it absolutely necessary to blog about my collecting compatriots!

Every item HaloMiner produces is up cycled, repurposed, vintage, or re-used.  From pop-art style earrings die cut from brightly colored aluminum cans (absolutely adorable!), to elegant neck wraps made from repurposed textiles and vintage buttons, to their line of t-shirts and the nifty bag saver designed to hold your keys while it keeps reusable bags handy, everything reinforces the HaloMiner mission to “elevate the everyday” and increase eco-awareness.  These phenomenal women are also devoted to the concept of community and use HaloMiner as a way to inform and educate the people around them by being an active, positive presence at local events, with an eventual goal of holding workshops to teach creative re-use techniques to others.  This isn’t a business that is only concerned with the bottom line; Halominer is a vehicle created to help Pam and Nicole make a positive impact on our local community, and as a member of that community, I am thankful for their presence and efforts.  I am also in awe of the way these women make their children an active part of the work they do, using their business as a way to involve and educate the kids on the importance of both improving the environment and building a strong and active community.

You can check out their products and read more about Halominer here.  And hey, the shopping is guilt free!  Your purchase helps the environment!  (Hmm…  I wonder if that would make it tax exempt shopping, since its a good cause and all….)

As for me, new work to post another day:)

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